SECO Energy Customers Guide to Going Solar

The Sumter Electric Cooperative (SECO Energy) is one of the largest electric distribution cooperatives in the United States. The utility serves over 230,000 residential and commercial customers across the Central Florida counties of Sumter, Citrus, Marion, Lake, Levy, Pasco, and Hernando.

Operating as a not-for-profit cooperative, SECO Energy supports a robust statewide net metering program, one of many Florida solar panel incentives. The utility’s customers are also eligible for other regional and nationwide incentives. Let’s take a look! 

Can Solar Lower Your Sumter Electric Cooperative Electric Bill?

Thanks to SECO Energy’s net metering program (more on that below) and Florida’s plentiful sun, solar can have a positive impact on your monthly electric bill. 

Reduced Energy Consumption

By generating your own electricity, you’re directly reducing the amount of energy you need to buy from SECO Energy. Over time, the savings from this reduced energy consumption can cover the initial cost of the solar panel system installation and continue to save you money for the life of the system, which can be 25 years or longer.

Energy Independence

Solar panels can protect against rising energy prices. With a solar energy system, you’ll be less affected by future increases in electricity rates from SECO Energy, securing predictable energy costs and improving your financial forecasting.

Does SECO Energy Have Net Metering?

SECO Energy offers net metering programs for members who install solar PV systems. This means that any excess electricity generated by your solar panels that isn’t immediately used can be sent back to the grid in exchange for credits. These credits can offset the cost of power drawn from the grid when your solar system isn’t producing enough to meet your needs, effectively lowering your monthly electric bills.1

Members who generate excess power through solar PV systems are considered to be small-scale wholesale power providers, meaning you will be credited for the power your solar PV system produces at SECO’s wholesale rate. Their website provides up-to-date information about energy rate tariffs.2

Here is what you need to know about net metering in Florida and interconnection requirements specific to SECO Energy’s net metering program. 3


  1. SECO Energy requires the installation of an AMI Wi-Fi-enabled bidirectional meter for all solar arrays interconnected to SECO’s electrical grid.
  2. Fill out an interconnection agreement.
  3. You must obtain a Permit, which is normally the contractor’s responsibility. Each county or city determines its completion processes. 
  4. Schedule a city/county inspection for a final inspection after installation. 
  5. Get approval and turn on the meter. 

Solar Incentives for SECO Customers

Several other statewide solar incentives are available to SECO customers, though they are not directly related to the utility company. 

Florida PACE Loans

Florida’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program offers a financing option for homeowners and commercial property owners to install solar panels and make energy efficiency upgrades without upfront payments. 4 Florida is one of only a few states that offer this unique way to tackle upfront costs. The other states are California and Missouri. 

They also make repayment easy. The cost is added to the property’s tax bill, allowing repayment over time. This loan is tied to the property, meaning the new owner assumes the repayment obligation if sold. Eligibility mainly depends on property equity and tax payment standing.

Florida Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property 

The Florida Property Tax Abatement for Renewable Energy Property allows homeowners and businesses to exclude the added value of a solar installation from their property tax assessment.5

Essentially, while the installation of solar panels typically increases the value of a property, this policy ensures that property owners can enjoy the benefits of solar energy—such as reduced electricity bills and a smaller carbon footprint—without facing higher property taxes due to the increased property value attributed to the solar system. 

State Sales Tax Exemption

The Florida State Sales Tax Exemption for solar energy equipment removes the state sales tax that would typically apply to the purchase of solar systems and related equipment.6 This means you’ll have an exemption that eliminates the 6% Florida state sales tax on solar panels, inverters, mounting hardware, and other essential components necessary for installing a solar energy system. 

Federal Solar Tax Credit

The Federal Solar Tax Credit, officially known as the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), is available for all states, including Florida. It is immensely helpful in minimizing the upfront costs of solar installation, and a knowledgeable solar installer can help you navigate its requirements. 

This tax credit allows you to deduct 30%  of solar system installation costs from your federal taxes. Historically, the rate has varied, but recent updates have ensured that the ITC continues at the 30% rate.

The credit includes expenses related to the purchase and installation of the solar PV system, such as equipment, labor costs, and even additional features like energy storage devices. 

Finding a Solar Installer in Florida

Looking to take advantage of Florida’s solar incentives? You’ll need a trustworthy installer to help you navigate incentive processes and system requirements. 

Freedom Solar Power was founded with a mission to empower everyone to get clean, affordable, reliable energy from the sun. We hold ourselves accountable to your outcomes through a 25-year product, performance, and service warranty and industry-leading experience. 

Contact us for a free consultation today.